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Guinean President’s desire for third term risks plunging country into crisis

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Guinea is more likely to plunge into a political crisis as it seems President Alpha Condé is going to change the constitution and seek a third term at the presidential election taking place this year.

Elected president of the Republic in 2010 with 52.52 percent of votes cast, the second term of the leader of the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party is coming to an end. And according to the current constitution, no one can serve more than two consecutive terms.

As a result, the Guinean head of state’s plan to amend the constitution is not well received by some of his fellow citizens, for whom it is yet another ploy to stay in power.

During an interview given to France 24 and Radio France Internationale (RFI), on the sidelines of the 33rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) held on 9 and 10 February 2020 in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Alpha Condé said that “the Constitution has nothing to do with the presidential election.”

He said his sole aim is to provide Guinea with a fundamental law “that meets its present needs” since “the current Constitution, drafted by a group of people for their own interests, has been botched.”

Condé, a fine communicator, dodged the question on his participation in the next presidential election. “It is the party that will decide. The RPG is free to present another candidate. For the moment, it is not my concern,” he said.

In addition, the Guinean head of state dropped an ambiguous sentence: “It is normal for presidents to serve four or five terms. But when it is Guinea, it becomes a scandal.”

According to Ibrahima Sanoh, a Guinean teacher-researcher, “we no longer recognize Alpha Condé, who had nevertheless fought against authoritarian powers in Africa. He is in a kind of decline.

For his part, Cellou Dalein Diallo, the president of the opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) commented on Condé’s statement on Twitter saying: “(he) only confirmed what Guineans know…: the rigged referendum that should allow him to change the constitution to stay in power. Nothing new! But we will prevent this illegal hostage-taking of the country.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the radical left-wing political party, La France Insoumise (LFI) gave his support to FNDC which, according to him, “is a creation of a model that could inspire other peoples and us, in particular the French, in our desire to recover popular sovereignty.”

This movement called on Guineans to a “day of active and permanent citizen resistance” so that the draft of the new Constitution is abandoned.

As for the opposition, it is advancing in scattered ranks in the run-up to the two consultations (legislative and referendum) scheduled for 1 March 2020. Some parties have already decided to boycott these electoral consultations because the electoral register would not be “reliable.”

– APA

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